Get A PhD: 5 Reasons To Pursue A PhD

Embarking on a PhD journey is a decision that shapes not just your academic path, but your personal and professional growth. It is not an easy feat too, which may make you wonder why people do so.

In this post, we delve into the core motivations driving people to go for such an educational pursuit. From the passion for research to the allure of long-term economic benefits, each reason provides a unique perspective on why a PhD is more than just an academic accolade.

Whether you’re a recent graduate or a professional considering further education, understanding these motivations can help clarify if a PhD aligns with your aspirations and career goals.

Reasons To Do A PhD

Passion for Research– You’ll do original research
– You’ll learn important skills like thinking critically and communicating well.
Gain New Skills– You’ll get better at research and learn to solve tough problems, think deeply, and talk about your ideas clearly.
– You’ll also become more resilient and adaptable.
Become a Professor– Necessary for teaching in college.
– You’ll become an expert in your subject, learn to lead research projects, and get better at public speaking.
Other Career Opportunities– Opens up job chances in different fields, like in government or industry. 
– You’ll become an expert and learn to think and solve problems in new ways, which is great for many jobs.
Personal Satisfaction– You’ll feel proud for learning a lot about a topic you like and for overcoming challenges in your research.
Long Term Economic Benefits– Can lead to jobs that pay more.
– You’ll gain skills that many employers look for, which can help you get high-level jobs

Passion For Research

Passion for research is like fuel in the journey of a PhD. It drives you through the intense, often challenging process of earning a doctoral degree. If you’re considering a PhD, you know it’s more than just an advanced degree; it’s a commitment to becoming an expert in your field.

Imagine diving deep into a specific research area that fascinates you. As a PhD student, you get to do just that.

Your research will contribute to the development of knowledge by conducting novel, original research, often exploring uncharted territories in your field. 

This research not only adds new information but also challenges existing theories and practices. In short, it is not just another assignment; it’s original research that contributes to new knowledge. This is especially thrilling if you love research that’s innovative and groundbreaking.

PhD programs offer more than just research skills. You develop:

  • critical thinking,
  • time management, and
  • communication skills.

These are transferable skills, valuable in any career path you choose. Whether you aim to work in academia, environmental engineering, or research and development, a PhD equips you for success.

Gain New Skills & New Knowledge

If you are looking to gain new skills for your career and life, PhD is a good place to start. When you decide to get a PhD, you’re signing up for an adventure in learning and self-improvement.

In a PhD program, you don’t just enhance your research skills. You learn to:

  • analyse complex problems,
  • think critically, and
  • communicate your ideas effectively.

These skills are not limited to academia; they’re invaluable in any career path. A PhD in environmental engineering doesn’t only teach you about specific research. It equips you to tackle real-world environmental issues with innovative solutions.

A PhD also helps you develop a plethora of transferable skills. Time management and the ability to work independently are just the tip of the iceberg.

You also learn how to manage a large research project – your dissertation. This process alone can be a masterclass in project management and perseverance.

But it’s not all about hard skills. Completing a doctoral degree enhances your resilience and adaptability.

Facing the challenges of PhD life, from securing funding to publishing your work, you come out stronger. These experiences prepare you for the uncertainties of the job market and life in general.

Become A Professor

If your dream is to become a professor, pursuing a PhD is a crucial step. A PhD is often the minimum requirement for a career in academia.

It’s not just about getting a degree; it’s about preparing yourself for the academic world.

During a PhD program, you develop expertise in your field. This is essential for professors, who must be experts in their subjects. For example, a PhD in social sciences turns you into an authority on specific social issues. You can then share this knowledge with students and colleagues.

A PhD also hones your research skills. Professors often lead research projects and guide students in their research. Completing a doctoral degree means you have successfully managed a significant research project – your dissertation. This experience is invaluable for a future professor.

Moreover, a PhD program improves your communication skills. As a PhD candidate, you present your research at conferences and seminars. These experiences are a practice run for the lectures and presentations professors deliver regularly.

Lastly, a PhD gives you a taste of academia’s personal and professional challenges. As a PhD student, you will start to develop skill to balance:

  • research,
  • teaching responsibilities, and
  • administrative duties

Other Career Opportunities

Pursuing a PhD opens up a world of career opportunities, far beyond the realms of academia. It’s a path that equips you with skills and knowledge that are highly valued across various sectors.

A PhD degree is not just about conducting research. It’s about becoming an expert in your field. This expertise is sought after in areas like:

  • environmental engineering,
  • education research, and
  • social sciences. 

A PhD holder in environmental engineering can play a crucial role in research and development for sustainable technologies.

Beyond expertise, a PhD helps you develop critical thinking and problem-solving skills. These skills are crucial in the job market, where complex challenges require innovative solutions.

Additionally, the communication skills you gain while presenting your dissertation or working with other researchers are invaluable in any professional setting.

A PhD also opens doors to high-level positions that might be inaccessible otherwise. For example, many research institutes and policy-making bodies prefer candidates with a doctorate degree for their depth of knowledge and research experience.

Whether you aim to become a professor, a research scientist, or a leader in industry, a PhD can be a powerful step towards achieving your career goals.

Personal Satisfaction

Pursuing a PhD can be a deeply satisfying personal journey. It’s about more than just earning a degree; it’s about fulfilling a passion for research and becoming an expert in your chosen field.

Imagine delving into a topic that fascinates you. As a PhD student, you get to explore this interest deeply. Completing a dissertation means contributing new knowledge to the world. This accomplishment brings a sense of pride and personal satisfaction that’s hard to match.

A PhD also allows you to develop skills that go beyond academics. You learn to think critically, manage complex projects, and communicate effectively. These skills can boost your confidence and satisfaction, both personally and professionally.

A PhD journey is often a test of:

  • perseverance,
  • staying power and
  • resilience.

Overcoming the challenges of doctoral research, from securing funding to conducting original research, can be incredibly fulfilling. It’s a testament to your dedication and hard work.

Long Term Economic Benefits

Pursuing a PhD can be a smart move for long-term economic benefits. It’s not just about the immediate aftermath of graduation but the lasting impact on your career and earning potential.

A PhD degree often leads to higher-paying jobs. In fields like environmental engineering or research and development, a doctorate can significantly increase your salary compared to a master’s degree.

The expertise and specialisation that come with a PhD make you a valuable asset in these industries.

Beyond specific fields, a PhD also equips you with transferable skills. Skills in research, critical thinking, and problem-solving are in high demand. These can open doors to high-level positions in various sectors, often with better financial rewards:

  • academia,
  • government, to
  • industry.

A PhD can be a pathway to an academic career, where becoming a professor can offer not just a steady income but also opportunities for additional earnings through research grants, consulting, and publishing.

If you’re looking at the long-term picture, a PhD can be a wise investment. The journey of earning a doctorate is challenging, but the skills you gain and the doors it opens can lead to significant economic benefits in the future.

What Are The Other Reasons People Get A Doctorate Degree?

People may undertake PhD studies for a multitude of reasons. Here are a few more:

  1. To Join an Elite Community of Scholars: When you pursue a PhD, you join a special group of people. You’re not just a student; you’re a scholar. This community is tight-knit, supportive, and filled with people who share your passion for knowledge.
  2. To Contribute to Society: Many get a PhD because they want to make the world a better place. For example, a PhD in environmental engineering could lead to breakthroughs in sustainable technology. It’s about using your knowledge to make a real difference.
  3. For the Love of Teaching: If you love to teach, a PhD can be a great path. As a PhD holder, you’ll have the chance to teach at a higher level, like in grad school. You get to share your passion with others and shape the future of your field.
  4. To Challenge Yourself: A PhD is one of the toughest academic challenges. If you love pushing yourself and testing your limits, this is for you. Completing a PhD shows you can handle complex problems and big projects.
  5. To Be a Lifelong Learner: Finally, some pursue a PhD because they never want to stop learning. A PhD is a journey that keeps your mind sharp and constantly learning. It’s perfect if you’re someone who never wants to stop exploring new ideas.

Each of these reasons reflects a deep commitment not just to education, but to personal and professional growth. A PhD isn’t just a degree; it’s a transformative experience that can alter the course of your life significantly.

How To Get A PhD?

Getting a PhD is a large personal commitment, requiring years of focus and consistent effort.

First, choose your field of study. Whether it’s environmental engineering, social sciences, or any other area, your passion for the subject is crucial.

Next, research PhD programs that specialize in your chosen field. Each program has its unique strengths, so pick one that aligns with your interests and career goals.

After selecting a program, the application process begins. You’ll need to gather your transcripts, write a statement of purpose, and get letters of recommendation.

For many programs, you’ll also need to show your research skills. This could be through a master’s thesis or other significant research projects you’ve completed.

Securing funding is a vital step. Many PhD programs offer fully funded positions, meaning they cover your tuition and provide a stipend. However, these are competitive, so applying early and to multiple programs increases your chances.

Once accepted, the real work begins. You’ll spend years diving into specific research, developing new knowledge, and working independently. Completing your dissertation, a substantial piece of original research, is your final hurdle.

Reasons People Earn A PhD Degree

Pursuing a PhD is a journey of profound personal and intellectual growth. The reasons to embark on this path are as diverse as they are compelling, ranging from a passion for research to the promise of long-term economic advantages.

A PhD is not just an academic milestone; it’s an opportunity to become an expert in your field, to expand your career horizons, and to achieve personal fulfilment.

Whether it’s to satisfy a deep curiosity or to open doors to advanced career opportunities, a PhD can be a transformative experience that resonates far beyond the walls of academia.

One thing for sure, as a PhD holder, you are one of the chosen few that has embarked on the path, and actually made it out successfully.

The Author

Dr Andrew Stapleton has a Masters and PhD in Chemistry from the UK and Australia. He has many years of research experience and has worked as a Postdoctoral Fellow and Associate at a number of Universities. Although having secured funding for his own research, he left academia to help others with his YouTube channel all about the inner workings of academia and how to make it work for you.